ABOO HURAIRAH -radiyallaahu `anhu
(Abridged from ‘Siyar A`laamin Nubalaa·’ of Imaam adh-Dhahabee)
Translated by Abu Talha Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
“Aboo Hurairah ad-Dawsee, al-Yamaanee, the great memorizer, the jurist, the Companion of Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم): `Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Sakhr in the most well-known saying.
His name in the times of ignorance was `Abd-Shams. He said: “My father gave me the ‘kunyah’ of Aboo Hurairah (‘Father of the kitten’) because I used to tend some sheep and I found some wild kittens. So when he saw them and heard them he said: ‘You are the father of the cat,’ and my name was `Abd-Shams.”
at-Tabaraanee said: His mother -radiyallaahu `anhaa- was Maymoonah bint Sabeeh.
Aboo Hurairah performed hijrah and arrived at the time of the conquest of Khaybar in the seventh year.
He memorized a huge amount of knowledge from the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم), no one else acquired as much as him. He also took from Aboo Bakr, `Umar, Ubayy ibn Ka`b and Ka`b.
Those who narrated from him included al-Agharr Aboo Muslim, Sa`eed ibn al-Musayyib, Basheer ibn Naheek, Hafs ibn `Aasim, Humayd ibn `AbdirRahmaan az-Zuhree, Humayd ibn `Abdir-Rahmaan al-Himyaree, Aboo Saalih as-Sammaan, Khallaas ibn `Amr, Saalim Abul-Ghayth, Sa`eed alMaqburee -and his father Aboo Sa`eed, Sa`eed ibn Marjaanah, Salmaan alAgharr, Aboo Haazim Salaman al-Ashja`ee, Aboo Yoonus Sulaym ibn Jubayr, Sulaymaan ibn Yasaar, Shahr ibn Hawshab, Saalih mawlaa atTaw·amah, Damdam ibn Jaus, Taawoos, ash-Sha`bee, Aboo Idrees alKhawlaanee, Aboo `Uthmaan an-Nahdee, `Abdur-Rahmaan al-A`raj, Iraak ibn Khaalid, `Ikrimah, `Urwah, `Ataa·, Mujaahid, Ibn Seereen, Muhammad ibn Ziyaad al-Jumahee, Muhammad ibn Ka`b, Moosaa ibn Wardaan, Nu`aym al-Mujmir, Naafi` mawlaa Ibn `Umar, Hammaam ibn Munabbih, and a very great number of people.
He was one of the treasure-houses of knowledge, and one of the major imaams in verdicts, along with his great dignity and excellence, his worship and his humility.
al-Bukhaaree said: “Eight hundred people narrated from him.”
It is said: He was yellowish-brown, broad-shouldered, having his central incisor teeth widely spaced, he had two locks of hair and he used to dye with red dye. He was a poor man from the people of ‘as-Suffah’, he experienced hunger and need.
Then after the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) his condition improved and his wealth increased, and he was a person who worshipped and remembered Allaah a great deal. He came to be the governor of al-Madeenah and deputed for Marwaan in his leadership, and he used to pass through the market of al-Madeenah with a bundle of firewood, saying: “Make room on the path for the chief”, and he used to joke -radiyallaahu `anhu.
Abul-Qaasim ibn Nahhaas: I heard Aboo Bakr ibn Abee Daawood say:
“I saw Aboo Hurairah in a dream, whilst I was in Sijjistaan and was compiling his ahaadeeth, and he had a thick beard, was brown, and was wearing coarse clothes. So I said to him: “I love you”. So he replied: “I am the first student of ahaadeeth in the world.”
Ismaa`eel ibn Abee Khaalid: from Qays: from Aboo Hurairah who said:
“When I migrated to the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) I said along the way: ‘Oh what a long wearing night; yet it brought about rescue from the land of Unbelief’.” He said: “And a slave belonging to me ran away. So when I came and gave the pledge of allegiance the slave appeared, so the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said: << This is your slave, O Hurairah. >> So I said: “He is free for the Face of Allaah”, so I set him free.” [al-Bukhaaree: (no. 2531)]
-Ayyoob: from Muhammad: that Aboo Hurairah used to say to his daughter:
“Do not wear gold, because I fear for you the blazing flame.”
-Saalim ibn Hayyaan: from his father: from Aboo Hurairah that he said:
“I grew up as an orphan, and performed Hijrah as a poor man, and I used to be a hired worker for the daughter of Ghazwaan and my wages were food for my stomach and a turn upon the riding beast. So I would drive the camels along when they rode, and I would collect firewood when they stopped somewhere. So All praise is for Allaah Who gave strength and authority to the Religion and Who made Aboo Hurairah an Imaam.”
-az-Zuhree: from Saalim: that he heard Aboo Hurairah say:
“A people in the state of ihraam asked me about people not in the state of ihraam giving them as a gift some game that had been hunted, so I told them to eat it. Then I met `Umar and informed him of this, so he said: ‘If you had given them a different verdict I would have punished you’.”
-Qays ibn Abee Haazim: from Aboo Hurairah who said: “I came on the day of Khaybar after they had finished fighting.”
-Ibn Seereen said: Aboo Hurairah said:
“I would sometimes faint between the grave and the minbar because of severe hunger to the extent that the people would say: ‘He is possessed’, so a man would sit upon my chest. So I would raise up my head and say: “It is not what you think, it is just hunger.”
-Ahmad narrated in his ‘Musnad’ from Aboo Katheer as-Suhaymee from Aboo Hurairah who said: Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said:
<< O Allaah make this slave of yours -meaning Aboo Hurairah- and his mother beloved to your believing servants, and make them beloved to the two of them. >> [Muslim: (2491)]
-Ibn Abee Dhi·b: from al-Maqburee: from Aboo Hurairah who said:
“ I preserved two sack-fulls of knowledge from Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم). So as for one of them, then I distributed it amongst the people; and as for the other one, then if I had opened it, then my throat would have been cut off.”
[[alBukhaaree: (no. 120): Ibn Hajr said in ‘Fathul-Baaree’: The scholars understand the sack of knowledge which he did not spread to be the ahaadeeth which gave the names of the evil rulers, and their conditions, and their times; and Aboo Hurairah used to allude to some of that but not state it plainly, out of fear of them for himself.]]
-al-A`mash: from Aboo Saalih as-Sammaan who said:
“Aboo Hurairah was one of the greatest memorizers amongst the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم).”
“Aboo Hurairah was the greatest memorizer who narrated hadeeth in his time.”
Kahmas narrated from `Abdullaah ibn Shaqeeq who said: Aboo Hurairah said:
“I do not know anyone from the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) who memorized more of his ahaadeeth than me.”
-Aboo Daawood at-Tayaalisee: `Imraan al-Qattaan related to us: from Bakr ibn `Abdillaah: from Aboo Raafi`: from Aboo Hurairah that he met Ka`b and began narrating to him and asking him. So Ka`b said:
“I have not seen anyone who has not read the Tawraat having better knowledge of what is contained in it than Aboo Hurairah.”
-Hushaym: from Ya`laa ibn `Ataa·: from al-Waleed ibn `Abdir-Rahmaan: from Ibn `Umar that he said:
“O Aboo Hurairah: You were the one amongst us who most closely accompanied Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) and the most knowledgeable of us of his ahaadeeth.”
-Hammaad ibn Zayd: from `Abbaas al-Jurayree: I heard Aboo `Uthmaan anNahdee who said:
“I took Aboo Hurairah as a guest for seven days; so he, his wife and his servant followed each other, dividing the night into three. One would pray and then awaken the next who would pray, and would then awaken the third.”
-Ibraaheem ibn Yoosuf related to us: Ibn Rawaahah related to us: as-Silafee related to us: Ibn al-Busree related to us: as-Sukkaree related to us: asSaffaar related to us: ar-Ramaadee related to us: `Abdur-Razzaaq related to us: Ma`mar related to us: from Muhammad ibn Ziyaad who said:
“Mu`aawiyah used to appoint Aboo Hurairah to be the governor of alMadeenah, but if he became angry with him he would send Marwaan to replace him, but it would not be long before he would re-appoint Aboo Hurairah and remove Marwaan. So he said to a black slave: “Stand at the door and do not prevent anyone from entering except Marwaan. So the servant did so. Then later when it became the turn of Marwaan he entered and said: “We were prevented (from entry)!” So he replied: ‘‘The one having the most right that I should not deny him is you.”
Khuthaym ibn `Iraak narrated from his father: from Aboo Hurairah that he said:
“The Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) had gone off to Khaybar when I came as a muhaajir to al-Madeenah. So I prayed the Dawn Prayer behind Sibaa` ibn `Urfutah whom he had left in charge and in the first rak`ah he recited Soorah Maryam, and in the other one [Sooratul-Mutaffifeen] So I said: “Woe to my father! How rare it is to find a man in the land of the Azd except that he has two measures: a measure for himself and another one to short-change the people with.”
Humayd ibn `Abdir-Rahmaan al-Himyaree said: “He accompanied (the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) for four years.”
He suffered hunger and poverty, and adhered to the mosque. When he migrated he had a slave of his along with him but he fled and got away.
Hishaam: from Muhammad [i.e. Ibn Seereen] who said: we were in the presence of Aboo Hurairah [and he was wearing two linen garments dyed with red clay], and he blew his nose and wiped it upon his upper garment and said:
“All praise is for Allaah who has provided Aboo Hurairah with linen to blow his nose on! For I have seen a time when I would faint between the house of `Aa·ishah and the minbar because of severe hunger. So then a man would pass by and sit upon my chest [thinking that I had become possessed]. So I would raise up my head and say: “It is not what you think, it is just hunger.”[[al-Bukhaaree: no. 7324]]
I [i.e. adh-Dhahabee] say: Those who saw him would think that he was possessed, and so sit on him to recite ‘ruqyah’ upon him, or the like.
…from `Aamir: from Aboo Hurairah that he said:
“I was in as-Suffah [[a shaded place at the rear of the mosque of the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) where the poor and those with no accommodation would stay]] so Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) sent some `Ajwah dates to us, so we would take two dates together because of our hunger; and when one of us wanted to take two dates at a time he would say to his companion: I am taking two dates at a time, so do likewise.”[[‘as-Saheehah’: 2323]]
Mujaahid narrated: that Aboo Hurairah used to say:
“By Allaah, besides Whom none has the right to be worshipped, I used to lay down on the ground resting upon my liver because of hunger, and I used to tie a stone upon my belly because of hunger. One day I sat by the way where the people would come out, and Aboo Bakr passed by. So I asked him about an Aayah from the Book of Allaah, and I only asked him so that he would satisfy my hunger, but then he carried on and did not do so. Then `Umar passed by me and so I asked him about an Aayah from the Book of Allaah, and I only asked him so that he would satisfy my hunger, but then he carried on and did not do so. Then Abul-Qaasim (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) passed by me and smiled when he saw me and recognized what was in my heart and on my face. He said: << O Aboo Hirr! >> I replied: “At your service, O Messenger of Allaah.” He said: << Follow me >>. So he proceeded and I followed him, and he entered his house. So I requested permission to enter and was admitted. So he entered and found some milk in a bowl. So he said: << Where is this milk from? >> So they said: ‘It was presented as a gift by such and such man, or such and such woman.’ He said: << O Aboo Hirr! >> I said: “At your service, O Messenger of Allaah!” He said: << go to the people of ‘Suffah’ and call them to me >> and the people of ‘Suffah’ were the guests of Islaam: they did not have families, wealth or any person to support them. So whenever some charity came to him he would send it to them, and he would not take anything from it himself; and whenever something was sent to him as a gift he would send something to them and take some of it himself, and cause them to share in it. So his order upset me and I said (to myself): ‘How will this small quantity of milk be enough for the people of ‘as-Suffah’?!’ I felt I was more entitled to drink from that milk in order to strengthen myself by it. But if they came, then he would command me to give it to them; and then what would remain of that milk for me?!’ However I could not but obey Allaah and obey His Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم). So I went to them and invited them and they came. So they sought permission to enter and he admitted them. So they took their seats in the house. He said: << O Aboo Hirr! >> I said “At your service, O Messenger of Allaah!” He said: << Take it and give it to them. >> So I took it and started by giving it to one man who drank until he was full, and then he returned it to me. Then I gave it to the next man who drank until he was full and then returned it to me, until I came to the Prophet (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) and all of the people had drank until they were full. So he took the bowl and placed it upon his hand, then he looked at me and smiled, and said: << O Aboo Hirr! >> I said: “At your service, O Messenger of Allaah!” He said: << There remain I and you. >> I said: “You have spoken the truth, O Messenger of Allaah.” He said: << Sit down and drink. >> So I sat down and drank. He said: << Drink! >> So I drank, and he kept on saying: “Drink!” until I said: “No, by the One Who sent you with the truth, I have no more room for it.” He said: << Hand it to me. >> So I gave him the bowl, and he praised Allaah and mentioned Allaah’s Name upon it and drank the remainder.” [al-Bukhaaree: (no. 6452)]
…Aboo Katheer as-Suhaymee and his name was Yazeed ibn `AbdirRahmaan narrated: that Aboo Hurairah narrated to me, saying:
“By Allaah, Allaah has not created a true Believer who hears of me except that he loves me.” I said: ‘How do you know that?’ He said: “My mother was a Mushrik woman, and I used to call her to Islaam but she would not accept it from me. So I called her one day but she said something disagreeable to me about Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم). So I went to Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) and I was weeping. So I informed him and asked him to supplicate for her, so he said: << O Allaah guide the mother of Aboo Hurairah. >> So then I went out running to give her the good news. So I arrived and the door was closed and I heard the splashing of water, and she heard the sound of my footsteps. So she said: ‘Wait as you are!’ Then she opened the door, and she had put her gown on, and had been too hasty to put on her khimaar. So she said: ‘I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Messenger.’ He said: “So I went back to Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) weeping with joy just as I had wept from sorrow, and I informed him, and I said: “Make supplication to Allaah that he should cause me and my mother to be beloved to His believing servants. So he said: << O Allaah make this slave of Yours and his mother beloved to Your believing servants, and cause them to be loved by these two. >>” –“Its chain of narration is ‘hasan’.” [[Reported by Ahmad (2/319-320), and Muslim (no. 2491)]]
Ibn Shihaab: from Sa`eed [Ibn al-Musayyib] and Aboo Salamah: that Aboo Hurairah said:
“You people say that ‘Aboo Hurairah narrates too many ahaadeeth from Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم)! And you say that why is it not the case that the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar do not narrate like him!’ But my brothers from the Muhaajiroon were busy in the markets, and my brothers from the Ansaar were busy working upon their property. But I was a poor man from the poor people of ‘as-Suffah’. I used to adhere to Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) and be content with what filled my stomach. So I would be present when they were absent, and remember when they would forget; and Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said to us one day: << No one will spread out his garment till I have finished what I am saying, and then gather his garment upon himself except that he will preserve whatever I say. >> So I spread out a striped cloak which I had upon me until he finished what he was saying, and then gathered it upon my chest. So I did not forget anything from that narration.” [[al-Bukhaaree (no. 2047) and Muslim (no. 2492)]]
az-Zuhree, also: from al-A`raj: from Aboo Hurairah who said:
“You claim that I narrate excessively from Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم)! Whereas the truth is known by Allaah. I was a poor man who accompanied Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) and contented myself with whatever filled my stomach. So he narrated to us one day and said: << Whoever will spread out his garment, will never forget anything which he heard from me. >> So I did so, and by the One Who sent him with the truth I have never forgotten anything which I heard from him.” [[al-Bukhaaree (nos. 118 & 2350); Muslim (no. 2492)]]
…al-Maqburee: from Aboo Hurairah who said: I said:
“O Messenger of Allaah who will be the most fortunate of people to attain your intercession?” He said: << I thought that none would ask me about this before you, because I have seen your eagerness upon learning hadeeth: The most fortunate of the people to attain my intercession on the day of resurrection will be whoever says: ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah’, sincerely from his heart. >> [[al-Bukhaaree (no. 99)]]
“Aboo Hurairah was the best memorizer of those who narrated hadeeth in his time.”
…from Hammaam [ibn Munabbih] who said: I heard Aboo Hurairah say:
“There is no one from the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) who has more hadeeth than me, except for `Abdullaah ibn `Amr because he used to write, whereas I did not write.” [[al-Bukhaaree (no. 113)]]
`Abdul-Waahid ibn Ziyaad and others: `Aasim ibn Kulayb narrated to us: My father narrated to us that he heard Aboo Hurairah, and he used to begin narrating hadeeth by saying:
“Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم) said: << Who ever lies upon me deliberately, then let him take his place in the Fire. >>” [[Ahmad: (2/413)]]
…from Ibn `Umar that he said to Aboo Hurairah:
“O Aboo Hurairah! You were the one from us who most closely adhered to Allaah’s Messenger (صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم), and the one from us who best memorized his ahaadeeth.” [[‘Saheeh Sunanit-Tirmidhee (no. 3836)]]
Aboo Hurairah passed away in the year 58 H, and this was stated by a group; and others said: 59 H; and it was said: 57 H -radiyallaahu `anhu- at the age of 78.”
Posted from the Appendix of :
Tafseer Soorat-in-Naba’- from the works of numerous mufassireen.
Compiled and translated by Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah